The First Dispatch: Here’s Your Surprise

You’ve heard me bitch about this before: I didn’t really want to start another blog.

I was already beat up and tired when I closed shop on Domesticity. I wasn’t exactly ready to put up another site when I revived my travel blog, either, so I thought I should just concentrate on graduate school and put my writing aside where it won’t get in the way of my GPA.

Then this happened.

No, I do not recommend stalking doing reconnaissance work at the Manila Peninsula to track down your celebrity crush/fantasy boyfriend* in any manner. Nor do I condone losing your composure around somebody you like intensely – regardless of your location – unless you have the good sense to keep your distance while you’re freaking out. (Nobody likes to be approached by a hyperventilating mess.) But it’s not every day that you get to guest-blog for one of the most popular blogs in the Philippines, let alone find yourself drinking tea at a posh hotel lobby with one of your favorite writers** after (silently) saying goodbye to said celebrity crush/fantasy boyfriend.

*Just so you know: He is super cute in real life, and I could not have loved him more for being polite.

**Also nice, and not too intimidating in real life. In the absence of a celebrity target, I recommend breaking the ice with tennis, books, and movies. 

As soon as I got on the train home, however, I found myself asking the same questions about myself that Jessica Zafra did: Why did I close down my blog? Am I really okay with all of this, by leaving myself adrift between writing and teaching and pursuing a graduate degree?

Then I realized, mid-stream, that I’ve been laughing at my own ambitions for far too long.

Maybe it’s because of the disappointments I’ve had in the last few years, but I did find myself deferring a lot of my own personal projects because I never believed that they would go any further. They were big dreams, after all, and my dreams are only dreams because I always had a reality to contend with in the here and now.. And then, when they do manifest themselves in real life… well, that’s where the drowning-in-chamomile-tea comes in.

I thought it was enough for me to do what’s expected, but my brother put it to me another way: “If you always want to do what is expected 100% of the time, you will never surprise anyone.”

So that’s what I’m going to do here. I have resolved that I am going to spend the rest of this year surprising the heck out of everyone, including myself. And the first item on that agenda is to put up this blog.

Next dispatch: What to expect while you’re expecting a new blog post. 

Love, Stella

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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